Almost up until the day in 2002 (nearly exactly 8 years ago) I signed up for my first cell phone, I had vowed I would never get one. I didn’t like the idea of being constantly reachable. Yet, after a wonderful day at Disney with two nieces and a nephew, don’t know how I could have managed many family gatherings without one. Simply put, because both my brother and I had cell phones, I could take my 14-year-old niece on rides her (much) younger siblings were too young (or too small) to enjoy.
Not long ago, I vowed I’d never upgrade to a Smartphone, not wanting to have the temptation of internet access wherever I go.
Today, after much consideration, I went out and bought a smart phone, in large measure due to recent nudging for my sister-in-law. To be sure, had been wrestling with getting one, but kept putting off the decision because I’m a Mac guy and the iPhone is not available to Verizon users (& I have long been very happy with that service). But, well, I got a great deal on an LG phone via a Verizon mailer (about $50 with rebate). (Yes, I’m aware that Verizon users may soon be able to keep their carrier on iPhones.)
All that said, today, when I returned home from Disney and got said circular in the mail (seeing this as a sign to followup on my sister-in-law’s concern), I figured I should check the phone out at the local Verizon store. Anyway, when I googled Verizon, I came up with only two stores near me. Eight years ago, when I had bought my first cell phone, I recall there being about seven. Indeed, the store where I bought my first cell phone (as well as the one where I bought my second) has long since closed down.
So, I was wondering that, as cell phone usage becomes commonplace, there is less need for such outlets, fewer people going in to set up (their initial) cell phone service, with more stores selling cell phones and helping you transfer your (already existing) service to the new gadget.
Maybe it’s just the serendipity of my getting a new phone the same time I take note of the decline in the number of Verizon outlets causes me to think about the cultural changes underway. Eight years ago, when I got my first cellphone, not everyone had one. Now, all of my friends do, with some not having a landline. Today, with my new Smartphone, I may well be behind the curve. To be sure, many people still have the “old-fashioned” cell phone I had through early this afternoon, but there weren’t many such models on display at the Verizon store, indeed far fewer than the number of smartphones.
Perhaps, a year, if not two years hence, we’ll all have smartphones and cell phones without e-mail connections will be considered a thing of the past. Perhaps.
*(in Metropolitan Los Angeles and perhaps elsewhere.)